Minnesota has very harsh winters and yet incredibly hot summers, so the equipment for these systems needs to be protected from winter cold, snow and ice, as well as harsh summer conditions. Smith-Root systems include electronic pulse generators, as well as communications and computer equipment to monitor systems and run the equipment.
We spoke with Jason Kent, P.E. Director of Civil and Structural Engineering for Smith-Root, about the project. He explained to us that they determined early on that fiberglass prefabricated shelters would provide a better solution than combination stick-built and steel structures. In addition to being the most cost-effective option, they also provide more protection than other types of buildings would. Because fiberglass allows a cellular signal to pass through, no external antenna would be needed. Such an antenna would have been vulnerable to weather hazards.